Year’s End

Here’s a round up of a few things from 2014 as the year dribbles to its conclusion. I missed this from earlier this year; a Beyond The Wizard’s Sleeve re-imagining of New Energy, in three phases- some 60s backwards psychedelia followed by the more familiar beat driven techno and then the wonderful drone section. There’s loads more Avery stuff, remixes, radio sessions and so on, at his Soundcloud page.

There’s also the trippy Roman Flugel remix of All I Need which has all the right things in all the right places.

Underworld’s dubnobasswithmyheadman was 20 years old and the re-issued box set was 2014’s possibly best bet if you were buying just one big box of music you already own. It cemented in my mind the view that dubnobass… was the best album of the 90s.

The stand out music book of 2014 was Viv Albertine’s autobiography Clothes, Clothes, Clothes, Music, Music, Music, Boys, Boys, Boys. Totally honest, warm and funny, uncomfortable in parts but fascinating and written entirely in the present tense which gave it real immediacy. If you haven’t read it, you should read it.

And I’m just beginning to listen to FKA Twigs. There’s something going on here…

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Fairplay And Bratley

Here’s a couple of recent things from the Scrutton Street Axis, both tracks from the house music end of things and both a tad spooky. Craig Bratley’s Beat On The Drum has some deep, repetitive techno with a robotic voice and a very freaky,disturbing video.

Timothy J Fairplay has posted the demo of another Junior Fairplay tune on Soundcloud, Faxes From The Future (winner of the most retro-futurist song title award 2014). An early 90s breakbeat, one fingered keys, disembodied voices, oscillating noises. I’m really hoping that there’s going to be a Junior Fairplay album.

Chapter And Verse

I got Bernard Sumner’s autobiography (Chapter And Verse) for Christmas. I haven’t read it yet but have spent some time flicking through it. Bits of it sent me off towards the record collection and to Youtube. Which is where I found this piece of footage from thirty years ago.

January 1984 and The Tube is filmed live from the Hacienda. Onstage are The Factory All Stars who play four songs- 52nd Street’s Cool As Ice, ACR’s Shack Up and New Order’s Confusion (all three together as a medley). Then Joy Division’s Love Will Tear Us Apart (sung by Caesar from The Wake). There are way too many people on stage, several singers and a multitude of musicians (including members of The Wake, Quando Quango, ACR, 52nd Street, Bernard from New Order and Marcel King). They all seem to be having a good time and yes, it is a bit shonky but it is very good fun too.

Later on the same evening and also on The Tube a young lady called Madonna will make her first British TV appearance, miming and dancing. There is a story that Peter Hook offered her some cash to dance in the dressing room but I’m sure that’s not true.

Godiva

A Man Called Adam’s sunset hour Balearic house-inflected songs, their best stuff at any rate, are a treat at any time of year. Here in northern England we currently have cold, with some snow, sleet and all sorts of wintry stuff. Mr Andrew Weatherall, mentioned once or twice in these parts, did several remixes of A Man Called Adam’s Chrono Psionic Interface. The Godiva and Dodivor remixes are both very good, long and lush and spacey. Embarrassingly I bought a five track 12″ vinyl ep in Chorlton’s King Bee records a few months ago and got home to find I had all the mixes on one or another 12″ singles already. Now I’ve got them with a slightly different cover, which isn’t a bad thing I suppose.

CPI (Godiva Mix)

Lady Godiva performed a naked protest against regressive taxation of the workers. Today this would wind you up in prison rather than celebrated in a pre-Raphaelite painting.

This afternoon and tonight we are at a family party, twenty seven of us in total, ranging in age from a few months old up to ninety five. The chances are someone will fall out with somebody.

Meanwhile In The Real Pop Music World

I had a conversation with a colleague at my works Christmas do who didn’t know who Joe Strummer was (‘oh yeah’ he said when I told him Joe was in The Clash, ‘they did that song I Bought The Law didn’t they?’, I think I did an actual facepalm). I looked at my 2014 List as I was typing it and thought ‘is this deliberately obtuse?’ So today I’m doing music from the real world in 2014.

Hideaway by Keisza is ace, with that massive early 90s bass drop and one take video.

You’d have to have a heart of stone not to find something about Pharrell’s smash Happy not to like. Except that you may have heard it once too often by now.

And here’s yet another class Beyonce tune (shame about the silly Jay Z rap in the middle which adds nothing and actually detracts from the song). This came out at the tail end of 2013 but I’ve heard it repeatedly this year and always enjoy it.

Boxing Day

Imagine- wandering down to Acklam Hall on Christmas Day and/or Boxing Day to watch The Clash play. 1979 too- they’d just released London Calling.

Hope you’ve had a good one. Boxing Day football today (United versus Newcastle).

Another Christmas Post

Another Christmas post, this time from the king of festive cheer Mr Billy Childish. I saw him do this song live in London, on a very warm day in May, a few years ago. Good fun. As Billy sings repeatedly over a killer guitar riff, merry fucking Christmas to you all. Wherever you are, whatever you’re doing, whoever you’re doing it with- have a good Christmas.

Christmas 1979